Russian forces advancing towards the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv are “meeting more resistance than they expected,” a senior US defense official told reporters on Friday.
“I can’t give you an exact geographic location of where they are, but they are not moving on Kyiv as fast as they anticipated they would be able to,” the official said.
The official added, Russians “continue to try to move on Kyiv,” even though they are meeting Ukrainian resistance.
The Russian invasion of the country is continuing in the Kharkiv area of Ukraine and from the south towards the Ukrainian city of Kherson on the river, the official added. These are still the three main advances on the country that Russia began yesterday, the official said.
There have been “no additional airborne drops over the last 24 hours” in the Kharkiv area, the official said.
The biggest change that the US is seeing is from the advance in the south, the official added. Russian forces are still moving towards Kherson on the river, but they are also splitting off some forces to go to the northeast “in the direction of Mariupol and the Donbas region,” the official said.
“The south towards Kherson on the river — we do assess that they continue to move in that direction. But we also think that — based on what we’re seeing in addition to moving from Crimea on an axis towards the northwest towards Kherson — they are also splitting off some forces to go to the northeast, sort of in the direction of Mariupol' and the Donbas region,” the official said.
Here's a map to understand the locations better: